Aikido is a martial art from Japan that redirects the force, speed and intensity of an attack or situation by using internalized techniques.

AIKIDO was founded and promoted throughout Japan by Morihei Ueshiba.

 Known for its joint-twisting and pinning techniques (kansetsu-waza) and its thrusting and striking techniques (atemi-waza). Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on.

Morihei Ueshiba  (1883-1969)

 Aikido techniques have the power and ability to kill or injure, but the fundamental purpose is to seize and control the attacker.


It was not until 1942 that Ueshiba began to call the martial art that he had been teaching "Aikido"


  - ai  - joining, unifying


 - ki  -  spirit, energy


  - - way, path


 Principles of swordsmanship are incorporated into aikido movements. Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, practiced and mastered several combat arts during his lifetime, although the major techniques of Aikido were derived from Daito-ryu Aiki-Jujutsu.

  In 1915 Morihei Ueshiba came under the tutelage of the notorious grand master of Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, Sokaku Takeda.  The training that Morihei received under Takeda was both effective and brutal stemming from many years of real fight to the death combat.


 Sokaku Takeda was the founder of Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu.

 He traveled Japan teaching  martial arts and giving seminars  to military, police officers and martial arts enthusiasts. Takeda was the primary teacher of Morihei Ueshiba. 

Sokaku Takeda ( 1860-1943)


Ueshiba's senior students have different approaches to aikido, depending on when they studied with him. Today aikido is found all over the world in a number of styles, with broad ranges of interpretation and emphasis. However, they all share techniques learned from Ueshiba and most have concern for the well-being of the attacker.


We strive to intuitively react appropriately before the attack even begins.

Seated:     Kenji Tomiki, Morehei Ueshiba (Founder of Aikido)

Aikido America International / NIHON AIKIDO          KYOKAI (Japan Aikido Association) 

An alliance of martial art schools that follow the training structure developed by Professor Kenji Tomiki, the founder of Nihon Aikido Kyokai (Japan Aikido Association).


Prof. Kenji Tomiki  (1900-1979) 

Founder, Nihon Aikido Kyokai

 Kenji Tomiki first studied judo under Jigoro Kano, the founder of Kodokan judo, and began practicing aiki-jujutsu under Morihei Ueshiba with the encouragement of Kano himself. In 1938, Tomiki became the first of Ueshiba's students to receive menkyo-kaiden, the ultimate certification in the Japanese martial arts. Kenji Tomiki developed his efficient aikido training system applying the twin principles of judo, "Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort" and "Mutual Benefit" enunciated by Professor Jigoro Kano. Both Professors Kano and Tomiki were outstanding educators, Kano as President of a prestigious college (which has become the Tsukuba University) and Tomiki as Professor at the Waseda University.

                       Dr. Yoji Kondo 

       President  AIKIDO AMERICA INTERNATIONAL/Nihon Aikido Kyokai ( www.aikidoamerica.org )

 Dr. Kondo holds a Ph. D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Pennsylvania. Formerly, head of the astrophysics laboratory at NASA Johnson Space Center during the Apollo and Sky lab missions and more recently director of the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite observatory at Goddard Space Flight Center for 15 years, he is professor at the Catholic University of America and George Mason University, author of over 200 scientific papers, editor of 13 scientific volumes, past President of International Astronomical Union's Commission on Astronomy from Space and Division on Variable Stars, recipient of the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, Isaac Asimov Memorial Award and the National Space Club Science Award, author/coauthor, under a pseudonym, of seven science fiction novels and editor of one science fiction anthology. He holds a seventh degree black belt (nanadan) in aikido (Nihon Aikido Kyokai), a sixth degree black belt (rokudan) in judo, and is currently head of Aikido America International/N.A.K. and instructor at the Columbia Aikido and Judo Club. (www.columbiaaikidoandjudo.org)


Basic Principles of Aikido

As Taught by Professor Kenji Tomiki

Background: Professor Tomiki first studied judo as a student of Professor Jigoro Kano, the founder of Kodokan judo in Japan. He then studied aikido under Master Morihei Ueshiba, who, after learning aikijujutsu from Master Sokaku Tanaka, established his own aikido school.

Judo Principles: Professor Tomiki followed Professor Kano's judo principles in developing his training system in aikido. These judo principles are expressed with elegant simplicity by his mentor as:

"Seiryoku Zenyo" and "Jita Kyoei".


These maxims have been translated into English (by Professor Kano himself) as:

The first principle, "Seiryoku Zenyo", makes certain that your training is efficient. What you learn must work. In martial arts, the difference between what works and what does not could mean the difference between life and death. If a certain waza (transliterated as technique) works only when your partner cooperates (too much), its efficacy is in question. Or, if it works only when applied by someone with considerably superior strength, it probably is not efficient.

There are physical limitations to what is possible. Physical differences between individuals can be a factor. The nature of attack can be another. Some waza may be more difficult -- even impractical in some circumstances -- for a small person to apply to a huge, powerful person. Nevertheless, with effective training following these principles, the human mind and body can perform wonders.


Professor Jigoro Kano 

Founder of Judo

         The second principle, "Jita Kyoei", ensures that your training is beneficial to you and your partners.

    If it is to  be beneficial, it has to be safe. Alternatively, if it is unsafe, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to train realistically.

In the course of your training, if you have any doubts as to the correctness of what you are doing, compare it to these two principles. Proper training must always conform to these self-evident fundamental principles.

These are viable ethical principles that are also applicable to the world outside your dojo. Our ultimate purpose is to apply these high principles to our daily lives and make them more fulfilling.

 "Mushin Mugamae".

Tomiki Sensi with uke, Oba Sensi According to Professor Tomiki, "mushin" is a state of mind that is   free -- that does not dwell in any particular place and is thus  everywhere. He once likened it to water; water can follow natural terrains and go everywhere but can at the same time be overwhelming.  It is the state of mind that can perceive everything around you; you     are ready for anything and everything. [Sometimes, "mushin" is narrowly translated  as "no mind" but that does not convey its      meaning well.]

The term "mugamae" literary means "no posture" or "no stance". It is to be understood that it will take years of dedicated practice before one can hope to attain this enlightened state. It is proper to enter the practice of aikido through "jigotai" (defensive posture). From that modest beginning, one endeavors to graduate -- through years of training -- to "shizentai" (natural posture), or "mugamae".

excerpts from www.aikidoamerica.org

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